Our mindset can control our emotions. Surely it cannot be practiced in one day, but having a positive mindset can actually trick us into believing that we’re happy. Our feelings are backed by our actions and vice versa, it’s a constant loop. Adopting the mindful practices that make us happy can train your brain for happiness and take your mind away from the blues.
Luckily there are a few hacks that you can use that will help you ‘fake it till you make it when you are feeling sad, and overcome sadness.
Get out of bed
This might seem fairly obvious but, for many people, the act of simply getting out of bed when they are depressed is impossible.
The inclination to stay under the covers, in the dark, away from the stimulation of the world is almost irresistible when you are depressed. The bed is comfy and cozy and not going to judge you in any way for how you are feeling.
If you are trapped in your bed, GET OUT OF IT!
People who are depressed go to great lengths to stay out of bed when they are feeling sad. I have known people to take their mattress off the box spring and lean it against the wall. Some people pile their mattresses with books. Others strip the bed of the sheets.
Whatever it takes to keep them out of bed. Because, out of bed, it’s way more likely that you will actually be able to do something other than lay around, ruminating about how horrible you feel.
Do what makes you feel good
When we are struggling with sadness and depression, our inclination is to collapse into our life. We stay in bed, we don’t shower or eat well and cut off contact with those we love.
Let me tell you: if you are feeling sad, collapsing is absolutely the worst thing that you can do. Instead, it is important to do things that make you feel good.
What kind of things might work? That depends on who you are in the world but here are a few ideas.
- Take a walk. – I like to walk in the forest with my dog.
- Take a bath.
- Do some yoga.
- Binge on some fun TV.
- Have sex
- Go to the movies.
- Take a road trip
So, what makes you happy? I know it seems hard now, but ask yourself, what you usually enjoy doing. Or ask a friend. Doing something that makes you happy will raise your endorphins and help you manage your sadness.
Take care of yourself
An excellent coping mechanism for working through depression is taking care of yourself. Sometimes getting off bed is next to impossible. Gaming or watching a movie is my closest companion with ice cream a close second.
Sometimes what helps get me back on track is going to the gym, getting more sleep, eating better, and drinking lots of water. I also like to spend more time outdoors in the sunshine (if there is the sun because come on… I live in Denmark, the sun is rare here) because the warmth of the sun felt good on my body and the Vitamin D provided by the sun is a natural anti-depressant.
I know that if I don’t take care of myself if I don’t make my body stronger, my sadness will only get worse!
Keep your mind active
Unfortunately, when you’re feeling sad, our worst enemy is that brain of ours. While we are lying on the couch or bed, feeling sorry for ourselves, our brain is actively buying into it all.
You are a loser, it says. You have no friends. You aren’t good at anything. You will never find love. You suck at your job. And on and on.
And, chances are, that none of those things are true. That you are not a loser, you have plenty of friends, you are talented, love is out there and your boss thinks you are doing great. But your brain, when you are depressed, just doesn’t go there.
It is really important when you’re feeling depressed, to keep your brain busy. To me, music is a really good way to do this – you are so busy listening to the beats that you don’t have a chance to think about anything. I also like reading, it makes me escape to another reality, then I’m one with the book.
Other options for keeping your mind quiet are Reading, going to a movie, and hanging out with friends, listening to music as I mentioned above. Meditation is also an option but I just get more depressed when I try and fail, to meditate. If you can do it, go for it!
What do you like to do that will help you quiet that mind of yours, the mind that is feeding into those feelings that are bringing you down? Figure it out and do it!